Shayne de la Force, chief marketing officer, tna North America, discusses the future of packaging at SNAXPO18 in Atlanta.

ATLANTA — The future is small and fast. At least, that’s what it looks like for snack packaging. Shayne de la Force, chief marketing officer, TNA North America, said snack packaging systems need to keep up. 

Mr. de la Force discussed current and future packaging needs in his educational session “The Future of Snack Food Packaging” at Snaxpo18 in Atlanta, taking place March 12-14.

He said there are three major key words millennials and other generations are looking for in snacks today: environmentally sustainable, convenient and healthy. Mr. de la Force also cited GlobalData for trends that show millennial purchasing smaller, healthier snacks that can supplement meals.
The TNA robag 5 is a new bagger that doubles bagging speed.

So what does that mean for snack manufacturers? Mr. de la Force said snack producers need to look at improving ingredient quality, maximizing flavor and making smaller, portioned bags with fewer calories. He argued that the future of snack packaging is in 100-calorie packs.

On a snack production line, this means snack baggers needs to keep up with oven or fryer production. However, because packaging typically must operate in a limited footprint, the machines need to be able to increase output while occupying the same space. Typically, bagging has been the weak link in production speed on lines and has been a source of bottlenecks, according to Alf Taylor, chief executive officer, TNA. He presented the company’s latest vertical bagger, the robag 5, in a video during the SNAXPO presentation. 

“By increasing the performance of your vertical packaging system, you are able increase the production of your entire line as a single entity,” Mr. Taylor said.

The robag 5 is a new bagger that doubles the bagging speed of previous machines and is part of the performance 5.0 package from TNA. The machine is capable of producing 300 bags per minute. Performance 5.0 looks to increase the efficiency of entire lines by offering packaging solutions that work with and keep up with other parts of the line. 

Mr. de la Force explained that because consumer trends keep pushing companies to make smaller portioned packs, snack producers are having to consider using more packaging machines to match the output of the oven or fryer. Or slow down the entire production to align with the maximum packaging speed to avoid bottlenecks.

“The TNA robag 5 is capable of the same, and in some cases, even higher levels of throughput, as two individual baggers, opening up a whole new world of possibilities for snack and confectionery factories that are limited in floorspace,” Mr. Taylor said.

The robag 5 also features sanitary design and comes with technology that ensures a low rejection rate and efficient sealing. 

Ultimately, Mr. de la Force said, the future of snack packaging must include a high level of automation and integration across the line, high performance, flexibility and sustainability. And because consumers are seeking smaller bags for their snacks to control portion sizes and to eat easily on the go, increased speed is a necessity on a packaging line.